Joomla! 1.5: Installing and Managing Components

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Over 60 quick and direct recipes to help you overcome common Joomla! queries.

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by Tom Canavan | November 2010 | Cookbooks Joomla! Content Management Open Source

Joomla! can be extended via the use of "Extensions". These extensions fall into three categories: Components, Modules, and Plugins. This article by Tom Canavan, author of Joomla! 1.5 Cookbook, covers the installation and management of components and modules. Occasionally, you will need to enable, disable, or uninstall an extension. This step is simple and is covered in a brief recipe.

 

Joomla! 1.5 Cookbook

Joomla! 1.5 Cookbook Over 60 quick and direct recipes to help you overcome common Joomla! queries.
  • Find quick solutions to common Joomla! problems
  • Part of Packt's Cookbook series: Each recipe is a carefully organized sequence of instructions to complete the task as efficiently as possible
  • Look at recipes that cover the portions of Joomla! 1.6 that are brand new
  • Over 60 practical recipes covering a range of site management and core Joomla! activities
        Read more about this book      

(For more resources on Joomla!, see here.)

Introduction

Joomla! is known as a 'framework' and it is extendable, or in other words, can be added to, with small programs known as 'extensions'. A specific class of those is known as modules and components.

Modules are small applets. They present information on the site to the user. They can be used in a variety of positions and are typically very simple to use and configure.

Components are full-fledged applications and are much more complex. They can only (usually) be displayed within the main area of the page. The typical component requires a menu item to link to it.

Each adds to Joomla! some functionality or allows better interaction with users.

In this article, we'll explore the installation and assignment of components.

Installing and managing components

Starting with Joomla! 1.5.0, the installer became "Universal" - or more easily said, you go to the same place to install your extensions, templates, plugins, and so forth. Each of the add-on programs are managed from different menus, but installed from the same place.

There is, like most things in Joomla!, more than one way to do something. Installation is no different.

Each 'extension' usually starts with a special prefix that helps you identify what it is. Here are two examples from some third-party developers.

  • com_securelive.zip: Installs SECUREJOOMLA which is a third-party security component for Joomla!
  • mod_corephp_weather: Installs the quick and elegant local weather information for your users with the 'corePHP' Weather Module.

Getting ready

As we're going to be going through a couple of examples, I have downloaded a couple of different programs. You'll need to have on hand a component to install. We'll be installing Agora Forum. You can download a copy of it at no charge from http://www.jvitals.com.

How to do it...

Installing a component.

  1. Login to your Administrator Console.
  2. Click Extensions | Install/Uninstall.

    Joomla! 1.5: Installing and Managing Components

    Once you are in here you'll have a few options to choose from:

    Joomla! 1.5: Installing and Managing Components

    There are three methods to install, in this section we'll focus on the first method. We'll examine the other two in a moment.

  3. Click Browse... and find the file. Typically, your browser will have a default location such as Download in the Documents directory. This will vary by operating system and browser.
  4. Click Upload File & Install.

    Joomla! 1.5: Installing and Managing Components

    In this case, I have uploaded com_agora_3.0.13.zip, which contains the full Agora Forum. Upon a successful Upload File & Install you'll see this.

    Joomla! 1.5: Installing and Managing Components

    This indicates it has been installed.

    But what about this?
    This indicates you have already installed the extension. You'll need to remove it or delete from the database. See Troubleshooting for more information.

    From here you can manage your component and interact with it. To do so, from the Administrator Console, click Components, and find the component in question.

Joomla! 1.5 Cookbook Over 60 quick and direct recipes to help you overcome common Joomla! queries.
Published: October 2010
eBook Price: $26.99
Book Price: $44.99
See more
Select your format and quantity:
        Read more about this book      

(For more resources on Joomla!, see here.)

How it works...

The installation manager opens up the ZIP file and reviews the content and installs it onto your site. It will create the appropriate entries in the database.

Some extensions that are not coded with the auto-installer will not work with this process. Those should not be in the main stream, but be aware.

Additionally it allows you to interact with the extension by creating a menu item.

Now that we have installed the Agora Forum, we'll want to manage it. In this case, the Agora is a component (remember com_agora_3.0.13.zip in our install?)

In the administrator click Components | Agora Forum.

Joomla! 1.5: Installing and Managing Components

In case of Agora forum there are many submenus from which I can configure, control, and maintain this component. Each component will have different menus.

Here's another example:

Joomla! 1.5: Installing and Managing Components

In this example when I pulled down to the SecureLive Administration Console, there are no submenus off of the main menu. The menus are actually in the application once you open it.

There's more...

Now let's talk about some other options, or possibly some pieces of general information that are relevant to this task.

Uninstalling a component

A good thumb-rule for security is to completely remove components and other extensions you do not need. That way in the event that vulnerability is discovered, you won't be exposed. Another potential issues is conflicts between other extensions. While rare, it can happen. So generally, if you aren't using a component, remove it.

  1. Login to your Administrator Console.
  2. Click Extensions | Install/Uninstall.
  3. Click Components.

    You'll need to locate your extension you wish to remove from the list. In this case, our example is highlighted in the following screenshot:

    Joomla! 1.5: Installing and Managing Components

  4. Select the extension you wish to uninstall by clicking the radio button.
  5. Next in the upper right-hand side, click Uninstall.

    Joomla! 1.5: Installing and Managing Components

    You should see this message upon a successful uninstall.

Disabling a component

Occasionally a component does not need to be removed, but merely turned off. This process is known as "disabling".

  1. Click Extensions | Install/Uninstall (This is the Extension Manager)
  2. Click Components.

    You'll see in the case of Agora and others - something like this:

    Joomla! 1.5: Installing and Managing Components

    As you can see there is a green check showing it is Enabled.

  3. Click the green check to disable it.

    Joomla! 1.5: Installing and Managing Components

    Now the Agora extension is disabled and cannot be used. You can click the red circle x to enable it again.

Installing from a URL

Sometimes a developer will keep their latest code available from a download. This is a simple means to install your extension.

  1. Click Extensions | Install/Uninstall.
  2. Scroll down to the Install From URL.
  3. Put in the address of the extension to install.

    Joomla! 1.5: Installing and Managing Components

  4. Click Install and if it was successful you'll get this:

    Joomla! 1.5: Installing and Managing Components

Summary

That's exactly half the process. In the next article you create a menu item for it. This will enable it to interact with the users.


Further resources on this subject:


Joomla! 1.5 Cookbook Over 60 quick and direct recipes to help you overcome common Joomla! queries.
Published: October 2010
eBook Price: $26.99
Book Price: $44.99
See more
Select your format and quantity:

About the Author :


Tom Canavan

Tom Canavan has been in the Computer and IT industry for 20+ years where he spent several years as a Systems Consultant to many Fortune 100 clients and other global companies.

Canavan is considered a top security and disaster recovery expert in the Joomla world. He is the author of the Packt Published book Joomla! Web Security.

He is a former CIO and is currently the co-founder of SalvusAlerting.com. Canavan contributes articles on security and disaster recovery to several websites.

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